Canadian Muslim sparks niqab debate

Canadian Muslim sparks niqab debate

Zunera Ishaq, a ‘devout’ Muslim living in Toronto who advocates stricter gender apartheid in Pakistan, was scheduled to take a Canadian citizen’s oath in January, but chose not to attend the ceremony because she would have had to remove her face covering.

Instead, the mother of three launched a legal challenge to allow her to keep her face covered during the ceremony – and won.

According to this report, in a ruling last month federal Judge Keith Boswell said the ban violated the government’s regulations because:

It interferes with a citizenship judge’s duty to allow candidates for citizenship the greatest possible freedom in the religious solemnization or the solemn affirmation of the oath.

The government then appealed against the judgment and asked for a stay of Judge Boswell’s order.

The majority of Canadians seem to be siding with the Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the issue of wearing a niqab during citizenship ceremonies, with 64 percent agreeing that:

It’s appropriate to have rules for what people wear in citizenship ceremonies.

Harper said:

I believe, and I think most Canadians believe that it is it is offensive that someone would hide their identity at the very moment where they are committing to join the Canadian family.

A new poll shows that, even though most Canadians feel uncomfortable around women wearing the niqab, nearly two thirds believe that whether a woman wears a niqab is none of their business as it is a matter of personal choice.

While 51 percent “feel uncomfortable around women wearing” a niqab and “prefer if women in Canada did not wear the niqab in public places”, 64 percent agreed that “regardless of whether I like the niqab, it’s not really my place to say what others should or shouldn’t wear”, with 55 percent agreeing that:

It should be a matter of personal choice in Canada if a woman wishes to wear one.

The hijab does not cause as much concern among Canadians as the niqab, with only 22 percent feeling uncomfortable around a women wearing one and 33 percent preferring women in Canada to not wear one in public.

The Majority of Canadians also agree that Muslim women who wear the hijab (71 percent) or niqab (58 percent) “do so as a matter of their own personal choice”.

While 62 percent agree that the “the Muslim faith is in some ways ‘anti-women'”, nearly the same proportion (61 percent) also believe that:

Many religions could be described as somewhat ‘anti women’.

Even though the majority of the Canadians agree with Harper’s view, most Canadians seem to disagree with the Prime Minister making such comments, with 60 percent feeling that

Political leaders should generally avoid making comment on religious customs.

Last year Ishaq told a government lawyer, Negar Hashemi, that she was in favour of gender separation “in some circumstances” in her native Pakistan.

But in an interview this week, she said she does not advocate such segregation in Canada.

I’m not seeking any such separation. I do respect Canadian society as it is.

Negar Hashemi Ishaq why she preferred to live in Canada, rather than Pakistan:

A country with Islamic laws that includes your religious views.

The woman replied she considered Pakistan a Muslim country, but not an Islamic one, because it was:

Not obeying the laws in, like, whatever Islam has told us to do.

Males and females, for instance, are not educated in separate classrooms, she said.

They are not following this rule back home … it’s been co-education.

She added there are “a lot of … fields” in the workplace where there could be a separation of genders, “but there is no separation”.

Asked by Hashemi whether she would like to see men and women separated during Canada’s citizenship ceremonies, Ishaq said such a move would “definitely give me something more than I asked”,  and that this was something she would appreciate. But  her main objective was to be allowed to keep her face covered while saying the oath.

18 responses to “Canadian Muslim sparks niqab debate”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    How does the judge in the swearing in ceremony know that the person behind the mask is the same person who has been granted citizenship? If she doesn’t like the rules, why does she want to become a Canadian citizen? Does she anticipate the introduction of shariah law in Canada any time soon? Tell the bitch to go back to Pakistan where she can hide her podgy, spotty, face all the time.

  2. Peterat says:

    Because she is allowed to confirm her identity to an official prior to the ceremony in a separate room! Tolerating intolerance!

  3. Angela_K says:

    Give religion an inch and it will demand another mile, every day we see this. When are we going to wake up and remove all religious privilege?

  4. Barry Duke says:

    A return to Pakistan, Newspaniard, is clearly not an option as it’s not as shariah-compliant as she would like. A better choice would be that “beacon of light”, Saudi Arabia.

  5. barriejohn says:

    “Bitch”? “Podgy, spotty face”? What’s that got to do with rationalism?

  6. Newspaniard says:

    @barriejohn. I was just being nasty to yet another victim card waving female demanding special treatment who always seem to get their way.

  7. Me says:

    Then I suppose she must think that a woman being kicked and beaten to death, dragged behind a car and then immolated, by a shrieking baying mob of hysterical fuckwits is a perfectly satisfactory reward for someone falsely accused of burning a koran by a lying cheating exploitative con man selling amulets to stupefied fools. Deny her citizenship and send her back where she belongs…to Pakistan where she can be denied all the rights and comforts that she so obviously loaths.

  8. chrsbol says:

    While 62 percent agree that “the Muslim faith is in some ways ‘anti-women’”

    The remaining 38% were either muslim themselves or didn’t understand the feckin question.

  9. Justin says:

    The last part about living in Canada instead of Pakistan because Pakistan isn’t Islamic enough makes no sense.

    Surely Pakistan is a lot more Islamic than a Western country like Canada. Canada “obeys” no Islamic law at all. If living in a country that strictly follows Islamic law is what she wanted then why would you immigrate to a Western country?

    She should have been honest and said that Pakistan, and most of the rest of the Islamic world, offers none of the freedoms and advantages Canada no doubt does.

  10. Marky Mark says:

    just another confrontation of the religious believing their customs, in this case funny wardrobe, overshadows the rule of law.

  11. L.Long says:

    This is PURE BS!! There is NOTHING in the book o’BS that states she has to be covered. This is a cultural implementation of women hatred, and she is indoctrinated into the BS culture, Don’t like our ways then stay away!!!!!
    In fact is she a raving hypocrite???? Where is her father/husband??? I don’t see one in the photo!!! She wants isLame then do it or shut up!
    Actually I think she likes being shit on by her religion and is fighting for the religion to continue to shit on her, she’s a masochist!

  12. dennis says:

    the only thing that made sense to me was maybe afraid her family or husbands family would recognize her and put out a honor killing on her cause I see no husband or family either @l.Long.

  13. Dioniogi says:

    I notice she did not actually answer the question as to why she did not want to live in Pakistan rather than Canada all she said was she did not think Pakistan was an Islamic country does this mean she thinks Canada is an Islamic country?

  14. This loathsome woman is clearly unfit for citizenship in Canada, or any other civilized country. If we in the west were to start our immigration policies afresh, then we would have clear rules about 1) numbers, 2) cultural consonance, 3) criminality, and 4) general attitudes and behaviour. Common sense dictates that all immigrants should be assessed on their past behaviour (criminal records etc), their political and religious allegiances, what they can contribute, and why they want to live in the country they have chosen (sensible countries like Australia already do this). They should only be allowed benefits after 5 years’ NI contributions, and offered citizenship after 10 years’ probation when they have proved themselves worthy. Good immigrants are welcome, of course, but bad ones like Zunera Ishaq need to be sent packing. Cue leftie-liberal whining!

  15. barriejohn says:

    Common sense dictates that all immigrants should be assessed on…their political and religious allegiances.

    And let’s throw out anyone else whose views we don’t happen to like while we’re about it!

  16. Har Davids says:

    Another one who wants to eat the cake and have it. Life in Canada is obviously preferable to one in any Muslim country, especially if you’re a woman. But this woman insists on dragging her crazy culture into a life among the unbelievers. And as she has children, she’s sure to pass these notion on.

  17. garrie keyman says:

    Facial coverings honor no god. They do, however, hide the evidence of past and present domestic violence, mutilations by acid, etc., to which so many middleeastern women are subjected. A culture that forces women to hide their faces is one full of misogeny and gender-specific oppression, a culture that conveys the message to women that they are unworthy to walk freely in the light of day; a culture of fear.

    Why become a citizen of a free society and seek all the benefits and freedoms therin, yet retain learned constraints of your old homeland? Indoctrination and fear, I wager; possibly also because the mutilation of acid burns and knife scars are horrific.

    She is not required to attend the public ceremony to receive citizenship, so why launch this fight? People always want to cherry pick what precepts of their religious indoctrination they want to adhere to. But it is not all bad, as it reveals a crack in the wall if religious oppression and is a sign the individual is loosening their bonds of religious slavery.

    Religions are, after all, simply socially acceptable programs to promote control by one group of humans over another through fear and false demonstrations of piety.

  18. 1859 says:

    ‘I’m not seeking any such separation. I do respect Canadian society as it is.’

    This last phrase is somewhat sinister – she respects Canadian society ‘as it is’, does not mean she would be absolutely content to keep it that way. She ‘respects it’, sure,but this could also mean she sees a time when it may become more islamic – in which case she would respect it more than she does now. The more that is conceded to religion the more religion demands – it’s the way all religions have worked and still work – ‘spreading their ‘good’ news’.